• Sleepy Head

  • Tom Thorne, Book 1
  • By: Mark Billingham
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 6 hrs and 31 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-02-06
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (305 ratings)


It's rare for a young woman to die from a stroke, and when three such deaths occur in short order it starts to look like an epidemic. Then a sharp pathologist notices traces of benzodiazepine in one of the victim's blood samples and just traceable damage to the ligaments in her neck, and their cause of death is changed from 'natural' to 'murder'. The police aren't making much progress in their hunt for the killer until he appears to make a mistake: Alison Willetts is found alive and D.I. Tom Thorne believes this error will enable them to track him down. But it was the others who were his mistakes: he doesn't want to take life, he just wants to put people into a state where they cannot move, cannot talk, cannot do anything but think.
When Thorne, helped by the neurologist looking after Alison, starts to realise what he is up against he knows the case is not going to be solved by normal methods; before he can find out who did it he has to understand why he's doing it.

Listen to our fascinating interview with Mark Billingham on the Audible.co.uk Podcast.
©2001 Mark Billingham (P)2005 Time Warner AudioBooks
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Critic reviews

"A disturbing and thrilling medical procedural with memorable characters and bundles of atmosphere." ( Guardian)
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Regular price: £11.19

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By PP Merge on 15-09-10

Kept me awake!

Having been a recent convert to crime fiction through the Harry Bosch series it was interesting to listen to a title that was set where I live in London (no glorious sunsets over the LA landscape for Detective Thorne). It was shaky start but I ended up gripped at this hard-worn, world weary detective who is driven (sorry for the cliche) but flawed (and another). At the end of this story I went straight out and got the second book 'Scaredy Cat'.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Sue on 28-09-08

Utterly Brilliant

Now here is a book to get your teeth into. Sleepy Head is the first book by this author and a fantastic start was made. The plot is cunning, twisting, methodical and curiously engrossing. I found myself listening at every opportunity I could manage. The characters are lifelike and believable which traits that play into the plot well.

The book was read superbly and the narrators voice fitted the story well. The pace was excellent and the quality crisp and clear, with no changes in tone etc.

I really enjoyed this book, it was a pleasure to hear and I have already set my next listens to pick up the remaining books by this author. I can see me having to bump up my subscription.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Virginia Waldron on 07-05-14


A great yarn. The depravity of it all is brought to life by a fabulous narrator. Really good fun.

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